Irv Novick

Detective Comics 525 (April 1983)

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Hmm. Young Dan Jurgens. Guess it’s why Bruce looks like Clark Kent without glasses.

I’m curious to see Conway’s original script–he includes expository scene after expository scene, all the fill in space–and there only good scene is incomplete. Bruce breaks it off with Vicki by acting like a thoughtless ass, but it’s never made clear if he’s really just being an ass or if it’s to get rid of her.

The Killer Croc stuff is also a problem… Batman’s convinced his subconscious keeps letting Croc win. His suspicion is based on Croc letting him escape from the Squid’s gang–Batman thinks he can’t let himself take Croc in.

Apparently, Croc being a savage murderer doesn’t bother Batman in this circumstance.

Jurgen’s has some good layouts–his Batman is weak–and the art’s passable superhero stuff.

The Green Arrow backup continues to offend. At least Ollie keeps the unions safe following a rousing speech.

CREDITS

Confrontation; writer, Gerry Conway; penciller, Dan Jurgens; inker, Dick Giordano; colorist, Adrienne Roy; letterer, Ben Oda. Mob Rule!, Part Three: The Irresistible Rise of Machiavelli; writer, Joey Cavalieri; penciller, Irv Novick; inker, Ron Randall; colorist, Tom Ziuko; letterer, Phil Felix. Editors, Nicola Cuti and Len Wein; publisher, DC Comics.

Detective Comics 524 (March 1983)

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Once again, if Bruce, Dick and Alfred weren’t stupid enough to leave the door unlocked with Vicki Vale, Jim Gordon and a bunch of strangers in Wayne Manor, they wouldn’t have to kill Jason Todd’s mom for finding out Bruce is Batman….

Oh, wait, some of that statement is incorrect. I guess they don’t decide to kill her, just Dick is going to talk her into keeping it a secret. Thank goodness she’s going to get killed in an issue or two anyway.

The story is otherwise indistinct. Killer Croc shoots the Squid, which is a sad sendoff for Conway’s Eisner homage, though it’s not like the character worked in a serious setting.

Beautiful art from Newton and Giordano makes it a fine issue… though the ending leaves something to be desired.

The Novick art is better than usual on the Green Arrow backup, which is too silly for words.

CREDITS

Deathgrip; writer, Gerry Conway; penciller, Don Newton; inker, Dick Giordano; colorist, Adrienne Roy; letterer, Todd Klein. Mob Rule!, Part Two: Heat of the Moment!; writer, Joey Cavalieri; penciller, Irv Novick; inker, Ron Randall; colorist, Tom Ziuko; letterer, Phil Felix. Editors, Nicola Cuti and Len Wein; publisher, DC Comics.

Detective Comics 523 (February 1983)

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Batman kills Solomon Grundy at the end of this story. I wonder if it was easier for writers to do Grundy stories because he’s not human or alive so they could kill him off every time. There’s not even a real explanation of how he comes to Gotham.

The issue’s okay. DeZuniga’s inks aren’t the best for Colan. There are a lot of great faces and expressions, but the figures are too static. It’s like DeZuniga solidifies too much of Colan’s pencils. The figures jump out of the panels.

Conway’s spinning his wheels for a story–Alfred has a page of thought balloons about how Batman is basically just making himself miserable when he ought to be relieved following all the recent events. There’s even a couple wasted pages on Dick, just for filler.

Speaking of filler, Green Arrow fights some goofy villains in his backup. It makes little impression.

CREDITS

Inferno; writer, Gerry Conway; penciller, Gene Colan; inker, Tony DeZuniga; colorist, Adrienne Roy; letterer, Ben Oda. Mob Rule!, Part One; writer, Joey Cavalieri; penciller, Irv Novick; artist, Ron Randall; colorist, Tom Ziuko; letterer, Phil Felix. Editors, Nicola Cuti and Len Wein; publisher, DC Comics.

Detective Comics 522 (January 1983)

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Starting the issue, I kept thinking Conway had already done a Batman versus the abominable snowman issue. Then I slowly came to realize it was a sequel to that issue I had already read. Maybe the Irv Novick art threw me off. Even with Marcos inking him, the art is painfully mediocre.

The story’s kind of a bore–Batman in China (he speaks Chinese)–and Conway’s forcing some division with Dick (to prepare for a new Robin, I think). At least the Vicki Vale stuff is interesting–I mean, if Bruce is lying to her about who he is (being the bored playboy), why does he care?

The actual story about the mutant snow villain (think Iceman mixed with Sabretooth) meanders but never offends.

Then there’s the Green Arrow backup… which is sillier than it is anything else. Ollie gets a new sidekick. Again, Von Eeden art’s is disappointingly unambitious.

CREDITS

Snow Blind; writer, Gerry Conway; penciller, Irv Novick; inker, Pablo Marcos; colorist, Adrienne Roy; letterer, Ben Oda. Automatic Pirate!; writer, Joey Cavalieri; artist, Trevor von Eeden; colorist, Tom Ziuko; letterer, John Costanza. Editors, Nicola Cuti and Len Wein; publisher, DC Comics.

Detective Comics 521 (December 1982)

5626.jpgGood to know editorial disconnect isn’t something recent. Conway apparently hadn’t been reading the excellent Catwoman backups running in his issues of Batman and Detective because here he’s got her guest-starring and menacing Vicki Vale and acting… well, cat-shit crazy.

Sadly, the issue features some of the best Vicki Vale writing Conway has done since she showed up. Instead of just going after Bruce to reveal he’s Batman, Conway’s giving her some layers here. Unfortunately, even if I wanted to give the issue credit for that development–to be fair, he does write one decent Catwoman scene, before she goes nuts–the Irv Novick superhero artwork is atrocious. Characters not in costume, fine. In costume… awful.

The Green Arrow backup is a silly early eighties computer story. I think Ollie gives away his secret identity at least twice. Von Eeden’s art is fine, but disappointingly unambitious. Page filler.

CREDITS

Cat Tale; writer, Gerry Conway; penciller, Irv Novick; inker, Sal Trapani; colorist, Adrienne Roy; letterer, Ben Oda. The High Tech Highwayman!; writer, Joey Cavalieri; artist, Trevor von Eeden; colorist, Tom Ziuko; letterer, Phil Felix. Editors, Carl Gafford and Len Wein; publisher, DC Comics.

Batman 342 (December 1981)

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Conway’s promise of a Man-Bat story–the one he basically wasted the entire previous issue setting up–is not realized here. And I make that observation even with the issue having two fight scenes between Batman and Man-Bat and a bunch of flashback recapping his origin. It’s a silly story, requiring the reader to once again accept Batman is out of the loop.

I think some of the issue is with Conway trying to humanize Batman. He gives him faults and failings, but they’re contrived ones. Somehow the only faults Batman has are the ones moving the issue’s plot lines along.

Speaking of plot lines, this issue concentrates a lot on the mayoral race in Gotham. It’s not good or bad so much as a nice use of subplot.

Novick’s art is occasionally annoying, never spectacular.

The Robin backup’s just strange. Conway’s decided to write Robin’s narration like a Raymond Chandler detective.

CREDITS

Requiem for a Hero; penciller, Irv Novick; inker, Frank McLaughlin; colorist, Adrienne Roy. Burn, Robin, Burn; penciller, Trevor von Eeden; inker, Frank Chiaramonte; colorist, Carl Gafford. Writer, Gerry Conway; letterer, Shelly Leferman; editors, Dave Manak and Dick Giordano; publisher, DC Comics.

Batman 341 (November 1981)

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It’s the ghost of Wayne Manor! Actually, it’s just Man-Bat. It’s Bruce Wayne and Jim Gordon bickering! Actually, they’re both just upset about politics. It’s a guest appearance from Dr. Thirteen! A really boring one.

Apparently, Conway wanted to do a Man-Bat story but also had an issue to fill. He pads this issue with a ludicrous “haunted” Wayne Manor mystery. Lots of things don’t make sense–primarily, Batman dismissing the idea of someone creeping around Wayne Manor. Or what about Batman not having a security system in place–even though he has a computer monitoring all Wayne Manor Batcave entrances, it doesn’t alert him when they’ve been breached.

The Novick art is a disappointment. Man-Bat looks silly.

There’s a two page Batman mystery–the Adrian Gonzales art is better than the feature’s.

Then the Robin backup with somewhat loose Trevor Von Eeden art, but not bad.

CREDITS

The Ghost of Wayne Mansion; writer, Gerry Conway; penciller, Irv Novick; inker, Frank McLaughlin; colorist, Adrienne Roy; letterer, Ben Oda. Murder Will Out; writer, Robin Snyder; artist, Adrian Gonzales; colorist, Roy; letterer, John Costanza. Night of the Coven; writer, Conway; penciller, Trevor von Eeden; inker, Mike DeCarlo; colorist, Carl Gafford; letterer, Oda. Editors, Dave Manak and Dick Giordano; publisher, DC Comics.

Batman 259 (November-December 1974)

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So this crappy story is dedicated to the memory of Bill Finger. I guess it’s best to have a crappy story dedicated to your memory rather than you, since if you’re still alive, you might have to read it.

This second team-up between Batman and the Shadow is amusingly weak (but better than the first, which was so awful I never even got around to mentioning the Shadow in my response). Novick and Giordano are very strong on the art–better doing real people than Batman, actually. There’s a jewelry store robbery at the beginning and it’s just fantastic.

O’Neil’s writing is lousy. My favorite is Batman almost getting beat up by a fit ex-con–because Batman isn’t very fit. Not as fit as this fit ex-con, anyway.

Bad dialogue, stupid revelations of Batman’s psychosis.

But at least O’Neil didn’t plagiarize any Oscar winning movies this time.

CREDITS

The Night of the Shadow!; writer, Denny O’Neil; penciller, Irv Novick; inker, Dick Giordano; editor, Julius Schwartz; publisher, DC Comics.

Batman 253 (November 1973)

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What an awful comic book.

Not the art, the art is absolutely fantastic, making something of an Irv Novick convert out of me… but the writing is just hideous.

O’Neil writes Batman as a thuggish cross between Spencer Tracy and a beach movie surfer–the Spencer Tracy imitation makes sense, since O’Neil “pays homage” to multiple set pieces from Bad Day in Black Rock, but the surfer speak is… to make Batman seem cool?

The comic’s from 1973 and there’s no Robin in it so I’d assume it’s not being done to fit in line with the TV show version… so there’s got to be some other explanation for the godawful dialogue. What’s initially stunning is the use of exclamation points. It’s the standard for the era, but O’Neil doesn’t seem to understand how silly all of his bad, but quiet dialogue looks with them.

It’s a truly awful read.

CREDITS

Who Knows What Evil?; writer, Denny O’Neil; penciller, Irv Novick; inker, Dick Giordano; editor, Julius Schwartz; publisher, DC Comics.

Batman 339 (September 1981)

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It’s a strange issue in a couple ways. Primarily because the Robin backup is some kind of life-affirming emotional origin of the character. It’s well-produced–Conway and Novick really make the reader pay attention to all the time shifts–and it’s trite and well-meaning. In other words, solid eighties mainstream work.

Unfortunately, Novick’s art is better on the backup than it is on the Batman feature.

The feature’s got some awesome stuff–the idea of a hypnotized Batman walking through Gotham nightlife is just fantastic. That scene alone not totally flopping makes the issue. But then Conway gives it an unresolved cliffhanger and comes up with one for both Bruce and Batman–Poison Ivy takes over the Wayne Foundation.

Some of the writing is somewhat loose, but Conway’s got a nice mix of Batman and Bruce Wayne here. And Novick’s not bad, just better on the backup.

CREDITS

A Sweet Kiss of Poison…; inker, Steve Mitchell; letterer, Ben Oda. Yesterday’s Heroes!; inker, Bruce D. Patterson; letterer, John Costanza. Writer, Gerry Conway; penciller, Irv Novick; colorist, Adrienne Roy; editors, Dave Manak and Dick Giordano; publisher, DC Comics.

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